by Roger Biermann
Porsche 911s have always been flawed, what with their rear-engined nature. But Porsche persisted with the layout, turning it into one of the sweetest driving sports cars ever. But above all other 911 variants, the GT2 has always been the most robust, the most insane, and the most deadly. That’s why the 996 generation GT2 was dubbed the widowmaker. The widowmaker is back though, built on the latest 991.2 generation car, with less weight and more power than ever before, and a new Nurburgring record of 6 minutes 47.3 seconds. Suck on that Huracan Performante!
The interior of the GT2 RS is a hollow, barren place to be. Everything is orientated at speed, to the extent that the carpets are thinner, the glass is thinner, and when equipped with a weight-trimming Weissach package, you lose the infotainment system and air conditioning setup too. The seats are lightweight carbon fiber buckets with fixed backrests as standard, and unlike lesser models, there is no rear bench. In Europe you can specify a roll cage, but this doesn’t meet US specification and so we miss out.
On the door cards, traditional handles have been swapped for fabric pull straps, while the only place to store your coffee is a pull-out cup-holder on the dash. To save weight further, the shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel have been swapped out for carbon fiber items, saving a further 0.4 pounds. King Leonidas would be proud of how Spartan this interior is.
How do you smash the Nurburgring lap time of a Porsche 918 Spyder? Try a firm ride, that though legal for public road use would not be pleasant for a daily commute. Even over mirror smooth roads, the cabin rattles and shakes. But when at maximum attack through a set of corners, few things corner as flatly as this. Then there are the levels of grip – Dunlop Sport Maxx Race tires are standard in a 325/30 profile on the 21-inch rear alloys, which somehow contain all 700 horses available. The steering feels lighter than you’d expect on a monster like this, but combines with rear wheel steering to make the 911 GT2 RS feel agile on a level beyond just about any other super sports car on the market – you think it, the GT2 does it. And as for stopping, the massive carbon ceramic brakes drop anchors that stop you dead in your tracks, without fade no matter how much you abuse them.
Where GT3 models are puristic and feature natural aspiration, the GT2 RS is an all-out power hungry monster. A twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat six does duty at the rear of the car, equipped with water injection to assist in generating 700 horsepower… Seven. Hundred. …and 553 lb-ft of torque. The rear wheels handle all the force, and there’s only a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox available. If you want a manual, get a GT3. Porsche claim 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds – conservatively – and a top speed limited to 211mph, in the interest of keeping the tires happy.
Though sparse, there is some semi-luxury equipment available, such as 18-way power adjustable seats, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone climate, and even a Bose surround sound system. A nose lift system and Sports Chrono lap timer are also available. But as a hardedned track car, the Weissach package will take your fancy, equipping lightweight magnesium alloys, deleting the aircon and radio, and adding smatterings of carbon fiber inside and out, with painted stripes on carbon fiber body panels. Basic safety systems apply, including airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control – enough to satisfy local regulators, nothing more.
Though the widowmaker returns, it feels far more manageable than anything with this sort of power should. But don’t let your guard down, the 911 GT2 RS is a predator lying in wait – ready to devour any race track or unsuspecting driver that dares take any liberties whatsoever.